Clean Cucumbers and Dirty Innuendo Drown in Body Wash – The Apprentice 3, Episode 4

“Clean Cucumbers and Dirty Innuendo Drown in Body Wash” – The Apprentice 3, Episode 4

By: Cori Linder
clinder@realityshack.com

Something doesn’t smell right in this week’s episode—but it’s not the soap.

When the Magna team (minus Danny) returns to the suite, Michael is greeted with cold stares and the verbal spanking by Bren. “I agree,” admits Michael. “And, I apologize if I’ve offended anybody.” Michael then explains that “everybody needs a dose of medicine” and that a “good steamrolling gets you in check.” It’s apparent now that Michael has finally figured out the strategy of this show: The less you’re liked by your team members, the less time you’ll ultimately be spending with them.

The challenge:

The candidates will meet with Donny Deutsch to help Dove launch its new product, Dove Cool Moisture body wash (get your free sample at http://www.dove.com/apprentice/default.asp). They need to approach the task as filmmakers and make a 30-second “extravaganza” movie. They must go out-of-the-box (the key word here is “out”) and create something that blows Donny away. Donny will then recommend who did the better job.

Assigning project managers:

MAGNA – Without advertising experience, Erin is ready to be a project manager. This is when Bren, a Republican district attorney with a spotted bow-tie, offers his idea: a female chef teaches a young male protégé how to “wash his cucumber,” entices him with her fresh scent, and then becomes horrified when the man walks out with the male waiter. The group members are shocked that such a “soft-porn” idea could come from such a man; even George is affected. His normally stern expression momentarily gives way (don’t blink or you’ll miss it) to a stupefied jaw drop. Michael doesn’t think that the homosexual spin will delight Donny or Dove. Did nobody give thought to the use of the cucumber?

NET WORTH – Kristen things she’s the perfect project manager for this task; after all, her boyfriend is a director. Of course, this makes perfect sense. I wonder if spouses of medical doctors tell patients the same thing. John (looking more and more like the actor Vince Vaughn) pitches the idea of sweaty models running in a marathon and suddenly needing to rinse off with the soap. People are laughing, but what’s the joke?

Strategies:

The Magna team splits up to work on props and casting. They are running late while their hired actors/models are waiting. One particularly annoying model/actress complains the whole time. Is she not aware that hundreds of producers and casting agents are watching her diva attitude on the show? Bren grovels and appeases her, sheepishly citing that 9 years of marriage have made him specialize in dealing with a pissed-off woman. Hopefully, his wife didn’t watch this episode.

On the Net Worth team, Kristen excuses John and Craig to go work on music. “In life, I do everything myself,” she smugly says to the camera. “Because I know that when I do everything myself I do things better.” Don’t fret, Kristen, you’ll get to do something by yourself later in the show—only, I don’t think you’ll enjoy it. John worries that the commercial won’t incorporate the joke successfully.

As John is busy producing the music for the commercial, his joke idea is being demolished in the studio. You know there’s a problem when the male model is scrubbing BODY wash on his FACE, and Kristen is laughing hysterically. A sense of humor doesn’t seem to be her strongpoint. Audrey and Angie are upset and think the entire idea is unfunny and unoriginal.

Both teams continue to film their commercials. Magna “lovingly” washes the cucumber, laughing at themselves. Net Worth, on the other hand, reviews the final commercial and suspects that the comedy has somehow left it.

Results…

Dressed in matching uniforms, each group presents their commercial to Donny Deutsch and his team. Donny chastises the Magna team on their “goofy” uniforms. The commercial with the cucumber and sexual innuendo is just bad, bad, bad. The annoying model/actress definitely didn’t redeem herself in her acting. The Net Worth team doesn’t fair much better.

Donny is disappointed in both teams and says that he has nothing. Well, Donny, you have an entire 1-hour episode on national TV that advertises the soap…does that make you feel better? He tells Mr. Trump that Magna chose the wrong audience and didn’t understand the product. Net Worth made the mistake of having the actor rub the body wash on his face. “You both suck!” Donny tells them.

No exemption, no reward, admonishes Mr. Trump. Both teams have to face the boardroom.

In the boardroom…

Mr. Trump says he’s angry at both of them. Erin defends herself nicely, claiming that despite the bad commercial, her team stuck together. He tells them that they must have been crazy to think that the stupid cucumber commercial would not have offended anyone. Kristen, however, blames the models for her mishaps, and then later on Audrey for being a “loose cannon.”

Mr. Trump tells Kristen that she was a bad leader and couldn’t hold the team together. Despite her pleading, he tells her she is fired. Apparently, he couldn’t stand the stench of her soap commercial.

Until next time…

Quotes of the week:

“It was like the dad in me just kind of awoke and it was like, you know what, somebody has been bad and I’ve got to discipline him.” – Bren (When Michael returns from the boardroom)

“Let’s put it this way. I’m on this team no matter what. If I have a few sick members and they’re not listening to my ideas, let’s make this vegetable porno the best vegetable porno you can possibly make—with a gay twist.” – Michael

“If I get a cold, somebody is going to be in trouble…I’ve been here for an hour and 47 minutes with no supervision.” – A very annoyed model/actress waiting for the Magna team to arrive

“Erin obviously doesn’t know how to deal with a pissed-off woman. Nine years of marriage, that’s my specialty.” – Bren

“I want to see something outside the box…this is right in the middle of the box…this IS the box!” – Angie (commenting on the Net Worth commercial)

God's Gift – Starting Over, 02-09-05

by LauraBelle

Starting Over took a decidedly religious tone today as the focus was on Bethany, returning to her hometown in North Carolina, where her father is the pastor of a small country church. She is searching for the answers behind her memory loss. God’s gifts came into play for her on a number of different occasions.

Rhonda and Bethany’s first place to visit in North Carolina is Bethany’s home she shares with her parents, brother and sister. Bethany is very excited to show Rhonda her bedroom, the walls done in hues of blue. She says she redid it completely after her illness, because she wanted a new start. Before she had posters up of Christian Rock groups, and now her shelves are stocked with romance novels. As Bethany shows Rhonda the tiara she won at a pageant, proudly displayed in a glass box, she explains exactly how she felt the day she woke up in the room with no memory. Her head was splitting, and she was in a panic, thinking, “Where’s Dad?” As she switches form the tiara to a cowboy hat, she explains it was very scary, and it just made no sense.

Back in Los Angeles, Cassie sets to leave and take her GED, but can’t find her identification. Denise realizes this is a bad day for this when Cassie is still trying to mourn the loss of the fantasy she held of her mother. Identification in Cassie’s possession, while Denise is driving her to her test, she says it’s kind of sad that the goals she came here for may not happen. Denise tells her she has to push all those insecure ideas out of her head for the test. She tries to do this, and keeps repeating, “Cassie, you’re incredible.” As Cassie goes inside for the test, I hope the big door that closes behind her isn’t symbolic of anything.

Iyanla has another special assignment for Candy. She wants her to gather Rachael and Denise, and take Cassie out to lunch after her test for some sisterly support. Iyanla would like them to help her create a vision play for a future, to find out what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She might never need to go back to Alabama again, since it’s just a reminder of sad times.

Moving on to Renee, Iyanla also has an assignment for her. They are going to keep building the momentum they have going for learning how to give. She says she has learned she can give time, give of her emotions, and to be selfless. Asked what her favorite charity or cause is Renee replies The Humane Society. Iyanla gives her a donation jar and says she’ll have to sit on a corner with a sign to donate to her charity for one hour, and not say anything but thank you. For the second hour she is allowed to talk and ask for the donations.

Bethany and Rhonda visit Bethany’s Aunt Sheila to get some questions answered to begin the documentary of Bethany’s life. Bethany notes this will be interesting as Sheila is very “stubborn-headed” and won’t divulge information if she doesn’t want to. Bethany tells Sheila how she remembers when she first got her amnesia, she felt she had lost Sheila. She asks if they were in disagreement of something at the time. Sheila says they weren’t, but admits to a disagreement with Bethany’s father several months before. She refuses to divulge what the argument was about.

Asked about Bethany before her amnesia, Sheila talks about her having a “save the world” attitude. God gave her a gift of a beautiful singing voice, and she had planned on being a music teacher, yet refuses to sing since her illness. Bethany says she wouldn’t have the guts to sing now.

Renee, dressed in a short skirt and Ugg boots, sits on a busy corner with her Humane Society sign and receives not very much money. Once she begins actually asking for the donations, she receives much more, but still not close to her goal of three-hundred dollars.

When Cassie exits her GED test, she finds Rachael, Denise and Candy waiting to greet her with celebratory hugs. Over lunch, the women begin grilling Cassie over what she would like to do with her life. The problem is Iyanla didn’t share with the women Dr. Stan’s directions of not worrying about skills and education, and when they ask what skills she has, it only seems to confuse her more. Denise chooses this opportunity to request of Candy to not talk so much of her work at the prison, but talk about herself so they get to know her better. Candy says she will make a deal with Denise – she won’t talk about work if Denise doesn’t talk about inappropriate things.

Rhonda and Bethany go back to the house, and Bethany’s brother, Caleb, surprises her from behind. Befere her illness, Caleb says they were close, as she was such a tomboy and would play with him. He adds she was also the person that turned him on to punk music, which stuns her. He says the hardest thing was seeing her right after she lost her memory and between the drugs and screaming, wild eyes and pained look on her face, it was hard, especially when she was begging God to let her die. God gave her a gift to not answer that prayer of hers.

Jessica, Bethany’s sister, arrives and talks about their differences, saying Bethany was always over-zealous in her religious beliefs, and was a prophet while Jessica was the demon. Bethany would cry every Sunday in church, saying Jesus is so wonderful while Jessica would just laugh. In a very difficult, serious moment, Jessica says if Bethany’s illness hadn’t happened, she would have gone to college out of state to get out of that situation. Bethany starts to cry and says she never realized her memory loss and illness could be a good thing until this day. She herself is starting to realize it as a gift.

Renee returns with her donation haul and tells Iyanla she earned two dollars while silent, and around thirty dollars while speaking. This is to represent the working of giving and receiving. It also represents Renee’s life. When she was silent it represented her not speaking of her molestation, divorce and feeling stupid. Asking for the donations represented giving others the opportunity to help her now. She gave them the opportunity and received help back.

Bethany and Rhonda travel to Bethany’s small country church and meet with the co-pastor, Wayne, His biggest memory of Bethany pre-amnesia is her singing and playing the piano in church; he says he misses it a lot. Wayne believes she is lacking self-confidence now to prevent her continuing her music. He is asked about the trouble in church just before Bethany’s illness. He says they were working on a building fund, then, and that fell to the wayside as everyone rallied to help Bethany.

Denise begins a conversation with Renee, Rachael and Cassie about the conversation over lunch when Candy got upset. Candy is upstairs on the phone, and hearing Denise is getting her very angry. Cassie says she asks Candy to stop talking about prison life as it gives her nightmares. Candy can’t take it anymore and shouts out to the women talking about her.

Bethany moves over to the church piano with Rhonda. Bethany plays a tiny bit, and Rhonda encourages her to do more. Bethany finally gives in, plays a tune form the church music book sitting out, and Rhonda is in awe. It sounds so trite, but she truly has the voice of an angel. Rhonda points to the last line of lyrics in the song, “Things on earth will grow strangely dim, like memories.” What made Bethany choose this song?

Candy comes down, sitting across from Denise, to argue. She is very angry at Denise for bringing this up again. Denise argues that no one is trying to hurt Candy, and she knows it’s hard to hear that stuff. Denise tries to explain they’re supporting her, and she argues it’s not support. Iyanla, waling through the room, eavesdrops, then has to step in. Candy says she’s upset with people trying to read her. Iyanla points out yesterday Candy said she trusted everyone in the house, and when Candy insists she does, Iyanla says suppose their read of her feelings is correct. Iyanla shows her she reads Denise’s help like her father’s criticisms.

Back in North Carolina, Bethany and Rhonda have the big conversation with Bethany’s dad, the pastor. He is unbelievably tense. He says she met with her church group the night before she got amnesia and they were talking of things that were upsetting to her. Bethany felt out of place. They next morning his pager went off with random numbers then 911. He came home and found Bethany sitting on her bed squeezing her head in her hands, screaming that it hurt. He left to call the doctors, and when he came back she was sitting there like nothing bad had happened. They talk of the rumors of his infidelity a little, and he says “the guilty go down and the not guilty move on.” Rhonda pops the big one, “Did you have an affair?”

It’s entirely possible her father never had an affair, and the situation was so rough for Bethany, she couldn’t handle it. Somewhat like post traumatic stress disorder, she blanked out on all that pressure – her family, religion, aunt’s anger, music, etc. Everyone else’s life has been better since the illness. Is that a gift? Of course it was, but now that she has the tools to understand the situation better, she needs another gift. She needs her memories back so she can piece together which Bethany she wants to be; I suspect it’s a mixture of the two.

I welcome all questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com

American Idol 4 – The Story So Far…

By Carlo

We are definitely well into the fourth season of American Idol and the Idol craze is bigger than ever. The preliminary auditions and the first two phases of the Hollywood auditions are already complete. The initial auditions always bring out the craziest people America has to offer among the ones who can actually sing and this season has been no different.

Usually I don’t pick any faves until the Top 32, or Top 24 as it is apparently going to be this season, have been chosen. I figure that it doesn’t make too much sense to pick a fave in the preliminary round or even in the Hollywood round since there really is no way to know whether or not they will make it past the Hollywood round. However, this season, there are a few people that I like and there were some that I disliked already.

The Molfetta twins didn’t bother me initially. They had their first audition and they did not get the gold ticket to go to Hollywood. I thought that would be the last time they would be seen but that was obviously not the case. Both of them returned for a second audition, allbeit individually this time, in the preliminary round. It’s been my understanding since watching this show that each person only gets one chance to audition in front of Simon, Paula and Randy. So, it really surprised me that both Molfetta twins got a second audition. Even worse was the fact that Rich Molfetta got through to Hollywood the second time around.

The ones I dislike the most are those that come out and emphatically state that they are the next American Idol. Everyone knows that 9 out 10 times the person that was just shown saying that is going to be sent home by the judges. I applaud people for being confident in themselves but that kind of confidence borders on arrognace and the judges can see it a mile away without a doubt.

There has also been a historic moment this season and we aren’t even half way through it yet. Marlea Stroman made AI history by being the first person to ever voluntarily walk away from the competition even after the judges put her through to the next round. She made it to the Hollywood round and got through the first phase of that round but then she decided it was too much for her to handle. So, she quit the competition, just like that. I’m sure there must have been thousands of people that were watching who didn’t make it past the preliminary round thinking that she must have been crazy to do that.

Only three people so far have stuck out as contestants that I’d like to see make it further in the competition. The first two were Carrie Underwood and Lindsey Cardinale, who I liked right from their first auditions. The third person is Jaclyn Crum, who appealed to me in the first phase of the Hollywood round. I think Carrie is almost a guarantee to make it to the Top 24 unless she messes up really badly, but the other two I’m not so sure of.

It’s still hard to say whether the girls or the guys are stronger this season. In previous seasons, one or the other almost immediately emerges as the dominant group. Of course, it could also have a lot to do with the editing.

This season is certainly far from over but it should be very interesting to see how the rest of it plays out especially with the new changes that are soon to come. If the winner trend of AI continues, then that would mean the winner of this season will be a guy; but we all know that can easily change.

Fly the Friendly Skies with Paris and Nicole

“Fly the Friendly Skies with Paris and Nicole” The Simple Life – Episode 2

Paris and Nicole arrive in Ambler, Pennsylvania to stay with the Ritchey family – no relation to Nicole. Ready to greet them are Tim, Sue, Janice, Jason and their wacky cat. Nicole and Jason hit it off when they discuss his hockey playing and her medal winning ice skating career. I can’t say the same for the wacky cat and Foxy Cleopatra who immediately get into a fight. Poor Foxy gets an eye scratched and has to be taken to an animal center for repair.

Even though Nicole is worried about her furry baby, she and Paris are ready to go to work bright and early at Lehigh Valley International Airport. Larry the supervisor hands out the uniforms and then after an interminable wait, takes Paris and Nicole to the tarmac. There the girls learn how to wave the planes in and do surprisingly well. Even Larry is impressed.

After such strenuous work, the girls take a break with the flight attendants on the plane. Conversation revolves around clothing and then turns to the infamous Mile High Club. Nicole wants to know if the flight attendants are members. No answers, just blank looks and then embarrassed grins. Larry comes on board and shouts for their return to work. Nicole has last minute advice for the flight attendants; she thinks they should wear roller skates to make their job go faster.

The next job is unloading the baggage from the plane, which provides a great opportunity for their natural curiosity to get the best of them. The bags are heaved to the ground and opened for scrutiny. Can’t be too careful with security, you know! Paris and Nicole rely on their modeling skills to put on a show with the pilfered clothing in front of the passengers on the plane. Larry the supervisor is no longer impressed.

Paris and Nicole get down and dirty by cleaning the waste from the airplane. They are completely sickened as the awful excrement rushes through the tube. I think most of the human race would agree with their response.

For the last task of the day, they get to drive the baggage cart and are instructed to drive only between the orange cones. But you know Nicole, she felt the need for speed and left the orange cones in her dust.

Back at the Ritchey house, Nicole is concerned for her pooch and requests Tim and Sue’s bed for Foxy…and they actually go for it! What people will do because they’re on TV!

At the airport the next day, the girls get to help out customer service. They have another uniform, but no longer overalls, it’s an actual dress! Polyester, yes, but it’s a dress! Paris proceeds to remake the garments into a chic fashion statement. The skirt length goes shorter, and the girls use the extra material to create headbands for their hair, which truly adds that extra something!

Paris and Nicole wow the travelers as they check in and reduce one man to a quivering mass of nerves. Later, on the plane, Paris and Nicole give a rundown on all of the passengers and then instruct them to “put their cans in their seats.”

Later that night, Paris writes a song for Foxy Cleopatra to make her scratched eye feel better, and Nicole goes ice skating with fourteen year old Jason. Nicole discovers that Jason just broke up with his girlfriend Kayla. So Nicole plays matchmaker and calls Kayla. When Kayla comes to the rink, Nicole makes Jason give Kayla a hug. It is unknown whether the two get together or not.

I welcome any thoughts! Chloe@realityshack.com.

Laura, What's That Smell?: Queer Eye for the Straight Girl Episode 1. 5

The Gal Pals SUV it over to the workplace of Laura Lee who is fab at 40! Everyone loves a rhyming start. Laura is from Minnesota. This fun fact urges Robbie to do his best Minnesota accent, which he doesn’t pull off so well, but he’s so damn cute so it really doesn’t matter what accent he uses. Laura Lee and her husband Paul have moved into a really expensive house. Paul just got laid off—ouch. So now they both work in the deli they own. And that’s how they’re celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary—by cutting meat! No, they’re having a party. LL wants to renew their vows. They can do it on the beach, which Robbie says will be beautiful. The mission is to make “little Miss Laura Lee 40 and free!”

Credits. Damon is wicked with a paintbrush.

The GP hop out of the SUV on what looks like a Hollywood set of a city but really it’s the back alleys of LA. They sniff the air for the scent of ham and find the deli. LL is wearing her hair in a blonde ponytail and has on a gray hoodie and jeans. Everyone grabs bread and meat and they shuffle off to Buffalo. Well, not Buffalo, but to LL’s house where her husband is waiting. Paul is huge. He’s gi-normous. Robbie jumps on him, half humping him. Damon says the place is crazy and starts pounding on some bongos. Robbie? Still humping Paul.

Danny has made his way into the bathroom. He stands there for a second and then starts waving around his arms. “What the hell is that smell?” He’s appalled.

Cut to Damon crawling, literally, around the living room floor and touching all the shelves. “This is just bizarre!” I’m not sure why he finds it bizarre. There’s just a lot of stuff. You know what’s bizarre, Damon? That you look like Roger Lodge!

Honey’s on her knees in the kitchen. The kitchen is very white and tiled. She opens the cupboard to reveal bottles and bottles of cleaning products. She exclaims, “A bunch of cleaning products they obviously never use!” Apparently, the house really smells.

Robbie finds a fur-lined shirt, holds it up to LL, and says that fur is really in. LL takes a moment and then says, “Oh, you’re the style guy?” She laughs. Robbie yells, “Yes! Who did you think I was?” She explains that she didn’t know because no one introduced themselves so she wasn’t sure. Danny comes over and laughs about how Robbie is upset and how LL didn’t know. She looks at Danny, who is clad in a pinstripe vest that shows off his arms but isn’t really my taste, and says, “Well, I knew you weren’t.” Ha!!

Off in the living room, Honey is drilling a power drill into the air. The house is very open and airy and has a spiral staircase in the living room. The walls are pale and there’s a fake palm tree in the living room. It’s rather ugly. Bold blues and reds for the rugs and shelves. Cluttered. And in the middle of it all, Honey still drills.

Danny jumps out in the bedroom doorway with a blonde wig attached to a cowboy hat on his head. “I love your wig collection!” Then he starts singing Oh My Darlin’ Clementine and accuses LL of having a cowboy fetish. Doesn’t everyone?

Next, Honey finds a rubber ball attached to a stick and whirls it around. “Rubber balls!” Then nails herself in the crotch with it. Heehee. LL takes over with a second rubber ball stick and hits Honey in the butt with them. Some sort of weird massage?

Somewhere in the house, the cat keeps vomiting.

Robbie talks to Paul about his wife. Paul says that it was love at first sight. He says she’s perfect.

Honey talks to LL about her husband. She explains that they got married in Minnesota so none of their LA friends were there.

The closet is moldy. The walls are moldy. Everything smells like humid mold and cat excretion. Aww, there’s no place like home.

Paul leaves as Damon continues to try to figure out the “eclectic beach” theme in the living room, which is not to be confused with Electric Beach, a tanning salon near my house. He pulls at a throw on the couch and scrunches up his nose. LL quickly grabs it, saying, “Actually, I think the cat threw up on that.”

Over by the dining table, Robbie finds a massive cat hairball in the kitty tower. He grabs it and threatens to put it on their dinner plates. Gross.

Then Danny and Robbie find a bunch of boas and stringy lingerie. Of course they dress themselves in it. Danny asks LL, “Does Paul like it when you wear this?” She says, “Sure. Who wouldn’t?” Danny and Robbie laugh, meaning they wouldn’t. Nice.

Meanwhile, Honey brings the cat outside. She comes in yelling, “Ew, I’ve got cocky on my fingers.” What the hell is wrong with this cat?

LL laments about her cat hair and mildew problem. Robbie calls her “40 and fabulous and not fatal.” He can add filthy to that list. Aren’t cats supposed to be clean animals? Honey can’t quite get over the smell yet. LL says that she lives there and still can’t get used to it. Honey asks if they partake in “home colonics.” Ha! Ew. Ha! Then Honey sprays herself all over with deodorant to get the smell away from her.

Over at the table, Robbie has grabbed an edge of the tablecloth. He’s going to attempt to pull the cloth out from under the settings on the table. Damon eggs him on, clapping and counting. Three, two, one! Robbie snaps his wrists and pulls the cloth out and everything else stays on the table. Damon says, “Wow, I didn’t know you could do that.” Robbie is silent, staring at the tablecloth in his hands, and then yells, “Oh, My God!” Apparently, he didn’t know it was going to work either. Yet another genuine moment that I love! The two of them half-hug each other and giggle in disbelief. Robbie screeches, “I could be a magician!” Damon wants him to go to Vegas.

Danny takes LL out to the balcony/porch to discuss her lifestyle. She says she has no time for herself. Danny suggests she has an unbalanced life. She say, “See? I’m so unbalanced, I don’t know what to call it.”

Over in the living room, Robbie is destroying a snack table. Honey and Damon are spinning around on chairs. Then they start throwing a stability ball at each other from the spiral staircase. Honey says, “My mom always told me not to play ball in the house!”

Meanwhile, Danny’s finding out a story about how LL and Paul took in a homeless guy as their first employee. She gets all misty-eyed. “Oh, man!” she yells. Obviously, she didn’t plan on crying.

Cut to Robbie and Damon in the living room. Robbie whispers, “It’s like a Barbara Walters Interview with a crazy guy from London!” Damon answers, “Now he’ll ask her what’s next in her life!”

Immediately, we see Danny saying, “So what’s next for you?” Ha! Now that’s comedy, people.

LL wants a better life with more time for herself. She wants balance. She wants to get out of a life that smells like poop and pee and is decorated with shower curtains. How one falls into a life like that in the first place, I have no idea. Maybe it’s a Minnesota thing, but I’ve never been there, so I’m just guessing.

LL’s friend says she doesn’t spend time doing hair and make-up.

Paul says LL wears jeans and t-shirts. As opposed to evening gowns?

In the SUV, Damon and Robbie are asking LL all kinds of questions about the vow renewal and the party. LL doesn’t really have any answers. Robbie asks, “Do you even care about tonight?!”

Cut to the Hunky Helpers! They’re carrying ladders and buckets!

Damon asks LL what she’s going to wear. She doesn’t know. Robbie asks her what type of dress she wants. She doesn’t have an answer. Damon asks, “Do you want lace? Macramé?” Robbie adds, “Tie dye?” She laughs. Damon suggests she buy a “sassy party frock!” Frock is just an awesome word and should be used in all situations it can be.

They pull up to Linder Design for some furniture shopping. Obligatory couch sitting. They find a curved orange couch with a yellow swivel piece where it bends. LL loves the swivel. Robbie swings back and forth on it. LL loves the couch, but Damon suggests that it may not be comfortable for Paul the Gentle Giant. Laura says, “Yeah, he’s six foot four and wears a size 14 shoe!” She says it as if she’s the one with the shoe size. The guys are jealous.

They move to a white couch with orange pillows, which is a better fit for big Paul. Damon then spouts some crap about continuity. LL yeses him and then continues to find swivelly things. Damon gives up his diatribe seeing that she cares more about things that can spin. Kind of like that Seinfeld episode where Elaine is mesmerized by the spinning tires in Puddy’s garage window.

They find a glass-top table for the dining area. Damon asks, “You like it?” LL says, “It’s nice.” But then he reaches over and spins the lazy susan in the middle. She freaks out, all happy and clappy. Damon says, “I knew you’d like that.” Damon continues shopping for round items while LL and Robbie leave.

They meet up with Honey at Sae Young’s Dress Barn. Okay, that’s not the exact name, but I wish it were. Sae Young is a dress designer who Robbie loves. Then we see that Honey is wearing a foot cast. She says she got hurt by “chasing blondes along the boardwalk.” Heehee. Robbie says that they’re here to find an “unwedding” wedding dress. Then he and Honey go into a frenzy, repeating “Sexy, sexy, sexy…” over and over. Robbie pictures LL barefoot on the beach as he tries to find the perfect dress.

She tries on a shimmery gold dress with a halter tie that kind of crosses in front. It’s a long and flow gown at the bottom. LL wears it well but holds her tummy. Robbie suggests cutting the legs off of control-top pantyhose and wearing just the part to tuck her tummy in. LL is like, “Good idea, but how do you know that?” Heehee. He’s The Look. It’s his job to know these things.

Honey asks if she wants to try anything else on. She’s not sure. Robbie reminds her that it’s her day so she can decide. She tries on some more dresses and they all agree that the first one rocks. Fun Fact: Most brides choose the first dress they try on. All the dress needs is some hemming, but no hawing.

Hopping on over to Pier 1, Danny has some gifts in mind for the guests. It’s all about baskets. Green baskets. Orange candles. Luckily, as Danny and LL go tearing through the store, they have Damon in tow as their little servant boy, who gets bogged down with everything they pull off the shelves. It’s kinda funny to watch, even though it’s so scripted. Danny throws in some air freshener. Why would you put that in a gift basket? That’s rude. If anything, LL should buy the air freshener for her own house. I think Danny’s getting confused here. He instructs LL to get cards for a personal touch. And bath salts! They leave it all to Damon to wrap up and take home.

LL and Danny go over to the diamond store to meet up with Honey and get some shiny gems. They want her to get Paul a customized watch. The jeweler asks what Paul looks like so he can get an idea of what to put together. LL answers, “He has big hands. Really big hands. And a big wrist.” So she’s married to a limb. The jeweler deduces that he needs to customize a big watch for the big man. Next, he’ll figure out how to breathe and swallow because he’s a sharp one!

He offers LL a mother-of-pearl face and has her select a band. She automatically chooses black and feels that she has to justify it by saying, “I want to give him something he’ll wear.” Well, yeah, the limb needs an accessory. The jeweler says the watch is “sporty elegant.” He needs to button up his shirt more.

Cut to the Sunset Ranch and Danny and LL in cowboy hats. And who has the cowboy fetish now? Danny tells her that she needs to have fun. LL hasn’t had fun in four years. Well, she hasn’t been horseback riding in four years, which is her favorite kind of fun. They wear their hats. They ride their horses. LL wishes she wore her spurs. I wish Danny would wear spurs.

They talk about her vows. LL plans on telling Paul how lucky she is. Blah blah. Adventure. Love. Blah blah. She thinks Paul might shed a tear or two when she surprises him with her on-the-beach vows. LL is crying again. It’s all Danny’s fault—he really gets to people.

LL’s friend says the house has potential.

Paul is embarrassed about their house.

The gang arrives back at the house. Honey skips along on one foot. HH in slo-mo one more time, but it’s all face shots. Who needs to see their faces? Next they’ll show them reading Milton and discussing politics. So not what they’re there for.

LL enters the house and says it smells better. I should hope so. She opens her eyes and loves it! The couch base is brown with white cushions and aqua throw pillows. There’s a chenille swivel chair there too. The glass-topped table with the swivel and white chairs is also now in the house. Gone is the ugly fake palm tree. Less clutter. Same art, only hung higher. Damon says that he wanted to use a lot of their original art because it was nice.

On the balcony/porch, Damon has set up rattan bar stools and low cushion-backless-armless couches. That’s the only way to explain the furniture. It’s loungy. There are also flags along the edge. Danny says, “All we have to do is add some green and blue and we’ll have a whole gay party!” He’s so into flags! Maybe he has a flag fetish. I mean, every episode, he finds a flag! LL loves the flags because they show the breeze and make her feel all warm inside. Or something like that. I’m too distracted by the obviously added during editing voiceovers to listen right now. Arg. The only show that has worse edited-in voiceovers is Project Runway.

Inside, Honey shows LL how to use Roxio to make a collage of wedding photos for the renewal announcement for the guests. It’s pretty simple. What’s the fun in having a computer make a collage for you?

Damon pulls LL away to talk about “more important things, like hair and dresses and make-up.” The guy from John Frida shows up to teach LL how to do her hair in up-dos and other dos. Robbie, Frida, and LL pile into the bedroom. Robbie calls Danny in to hold the mirror. I’m not sure why it’s easier to get Danny to hold up a mirror rather than doing this in a room where there’s already a mirror. But it sure is nice to see Danny using his biceps. LL says he looks good holding a mirror. Understatement of the year!

Frida does some bobby pin magic and applies some Sheer Blonde product and the hair is perfect. They pop a flower in her hair and call it done. Robbie then shows her two dresses she can choose from to wear for the party before the renewal ceremony.

Outside, Damon has set up two bars with red tablecloths that offset the off-white and rattan furniture. He reveals that she’ll have a bartender and catering. Whoo-hoo! He’s also leaving some orchids for her to put into vases a bit later.

LL’s face starts to morph into a look of panic. Danny to the rescue. “Don’t panic!” he yells at her. “Alright!” she yells back in a British accent that is completely accidental. You know how you get around people with different accents and suddenly you start talking like them because you just can’t help yourself? Well, that’s what happened right there.

Danny shows LL how to set up the gift baskets. He adds some silk flowers to fill in empty spaces. He tells her to fill it with one thing at a time. Then he reminds her to breathe because LL is turning blue.

They gather round the living room for a drink. She’s overwhelmed. She cries again. She’s insecure but she’ll pull it off. Danny says that he hopes she carries what she learned today into the rest of her life. Robbie calls her an angel. They toast to Laura. She toasts to the Gal Pals. Honey says, “There’s no wrong way!” I don’t know what that means. Danny yells, “Fantastic!” No reason for it. They all leave. LL sniffles.

Hip Tip: Damon says that when you go to the store to buy a sofa, test it out by doing on it what you would normally do on your couch at home. You know, like get all naked, scratch yourself, and fall asleep with a bucket of fried chicken next to you. What? That’s just me?

LL’s friend says Laura and Paul compliment each other but have no alone time.

On the Critic Couch, Robbie slouches down and complains, “I’m exhausted!” They toast to Laura Lee! Again.

And what is Laura Lee doing when there’s a party in about an hour? Sleeping. Yes! Atta, girl! She finally gets up, showers, does her make-up (which the GP say she doesn’t really need, which is what they say about everyone so why even go through with the make-up tips?), and she finishes with mascara that thickens and lengthens. Damon says that’s his motto. Heehee. Make me blush.

Robbie is happy that LL is going with the wrap dress with the flowery dots on it for the party. LL goes back to apply lip liner and the nerves come out. Her hand is shaking.

She attempts to do the up-do Frida taught her. Danny says her hair is getting a “little crazy.” She’s got bobby pins and frizz working against her. Robbie says, “She’s making a mullet!” Yes, that’s exactly what she does. Danny yells, “Don’t panic!” but this time she can’t hear him. She pulls out all the bobby pins and goes with a natural down-do. Good call, LL.

Now, she runs around the house, literally, and pushes stuff under the bed. All the tasks she’s supposed to do, pictures, baskets, all go under the bed. She continues to run. Room to room. She’s now a crazy person.

The doorbell rings and she flings it open, yelling, “Thank God you’re here!” It’s the caterers. However, I get the feeling it could have been the paperboy collecting money and she would have exclaimed the same thing. I think she was having “I’m in this alone” anxiety. Robbie and Danny agree that perhaps the caterers should make LL a drink.

Paul comes home and doesn’t seem to notice anything different. He doesn’t notice that the stench is gone. Robbie says, “He doesn’t notice a house full of new furniture?!” LL takes him out to the balcony/porch and finally Paul shows some emotion. It’s a wow reaction. He loves it.

LL is still in panic mode and doesn’t let him enjoy the new digs. She says, “I hope people don’t come yet” because there’s so much to do. Well, it would be finished if you hadn’t pushed it all under the bed, LL! She tells Paul to do the gift baskets. She doesn’t even show him how. She says to just look at the one that’s made and follow it. He shrugs and does it. Damon loves a woman who passes the buck!

Then LL goes into yet another psychotic frenzy, chanting “Damondamondamon” as she shoves flowers into vases. Then she makes Paul jam some more flowers into different vases. They kill the flowers. Damon squeals, “I’m terrified!”

Paul and LL finally settle down on a cushiony seat outside. They kiss. Honey says, “They don’t care about entertaining.” Nope, they care about each other.

People arrive. Everyone loves a moldless house. Honey forgives LL for not doing all the projects because this is what it’s all about. A happy party. Danny says, “Our girl needs a drink!” Because alcohol cures everything.

Cut to LL whispering to her friend, Rosie, that Rosie needs to lead everyone to the beach later. Rosie is her partner in crime and is the only person who knows about the vows. People toast each other. Dad calls LL an angel.

LL pulls Paul into the bedroom. She whips out the watch. He whispers, “Wow.” Danny says the most precious thing Paul has is Laura. Aww.

LL reveals her surprise about the vow renewal. He thinks it’s a great idea. She changes into the gold dress and finally gets the up-do right without making a mullet. Rosie herds everyone onto the beach. Paul’s reaction to LL? “Oh ho baby!” He’s a man of many words.

Danny says, “This is what it’s all about.” Damon loves the sunset. LL and Paul walk onto the beach holding hands. Paul says, “Is this where I propose?” LL says, “No! We did that part already.” They laugh as two people in love do.

The vows. LL is lucky. She wants to continue their journey of surprises together. Paul loves her. Gush gush gush. Danny cries. Damon is on the verge of tears. LL and Paul kiss. And kiss. Damon yells, “I love this man!” Umm, he’s taken. And straight.

Honey claps. Damon blurts out, “This makes me want to be heterosexual.” Robbie makes the face he made when he first smelled the cat-piss house. They all say, “Maybe not.” Heehee. The GP conclude that this was an inspiring experience. They toast to Laura and Paul.

Honey says to be careful when sending flowers because yellow roses mean “let’s just be friends.”

Danny says to pull a buffet table away from the wall so both sides can be utilized.

Damon says to test drive a sofa. As he did just one half hour ago.

Robbie says that your hair is important on your wedding day so get it cut and colored three weeks before in case it turns out badly.

And so the Gentle Giant and the Cat Lady lived happily ever after.

–Christina M. Rau/GatsbyGirl

If you had to choose: mildew or cat vomit?

Email me: Christina@realityshack.com

Interview With Nic of The Road to Stardom With Missy Elliott

Nic
Age: 29
Disc Jockey
Hometown: Aliso Viejo, California

By: Chantae Benson

What motivated you to audition for the show?

I was with another person in a rap group called Indpendnt and we had a deal that fell through. I saw this as another opportunity to get resigned. Personally I went into it just for the exposure.

On the show you and Nilyne seemed to have a love/hate relationship. What changed your attitude towards one another?

What changed our relationship was the editing. Nilyne and myself we talk everyday, even now. When I watched the show they made it seem like we broke up, like there were problems. I’ve seen her twice, she’s been here twice. There are no problems at all.

Many people feel you crossed the line with the comments you made during the battle (freestyle challenge). Do you have any regrets about anything you said?

No, I don’t have any regrets on what I said. I never called her a bitch or a whore, the word that was edited out was not pertaining to her, it was pertaining to myself. It was not personally attacking her. It was a battle and I’m an mc so a part of me and battling for me I went into it with a different mind state then a singer. Battling is attacking a persons’ character. I went into it just like that. We hugged and kissed after the battle was over.

You were portrayed as cocky during the show. Do you think that was a fair depiction of you?

I’m really confident and I know that I can write. I’m very confident in my skills and I’m confident that this is God’s will for me, that I have a purpose in being here. Why would you play a basketball game if you feel you are going to loose? I expected to win and woke up every day feeling I’m going to win. Cocky is when you believe the hype, confident is when you’re light hearted and you understand who you are as an individual or performer. I didn’t really mind being the villain because the villain can be redeemed.

What was your expectation of the show? Did the show meet your expectation or disappoint you in any way?

Once I got there on the bus and I saw how things were going I had to redefine my definition of what winning the contest was. Winning was gaining the exposure I needed. I kind of felt this wasn’t a contest for mc’s. I think Missy and Mona know who they want to win.

What was the most difficult part about being on the road?

I really missed my son, friends, and family. That was real difficult. I think it was difficult for all of us especially being on the road with 12 strangers. We had to find friends and develop relationships really quick and you never knew if that person you developed that relationship with would be around the next day so that was difficult.

Is there anything that happened behind the scenes that you wish could have aired?

I wish they could have depicted my character in a different way. I just wished they could have showed me encouraging other people and praying with and for other people. They kind of depicted my character as a male chauvinist. I was 100 percent faithful in my marriage and I am a good father and spend a lot of time with my son. Those images people respect a lot more; I respect a lot more. I think also the friendships that developed and the respect I gained. They made it seem like everybody hated me and no one respected me for my writing.

Who do you think has the best chance of winning the competition?

My personal favorites are Eddie and Akil. I also think, again it’s tv, and I think the judges and Missy know who they want to win. Those people I respected from an mc to an mc. I respected Akil as a complete artist and I respected Eddie as probably the best mc on the bus. I would have to submit to that, Eddie was a better mc and writer on the bus.

What are your future plans?

Album, tv, movies, you’ll see me. I’ve been in the business for a while modeling and acting and I will be here for a while and I am pretty confident in that.

How can fans of the show contact you?

My website is www.nicholasdemps.com

Thanks again for taking the time to conduct this interview and good luck with all your future endeavors.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to write to me at cwriter@realityshack.com .

The Dawn Is Breaking – Starting Over, 02-08-05

by LauraBelle

The dawn is breaking … “it’s early morn. The taxi’s waitin’, he’s blowin’ his horn…”
I’m not sure if the Starting Over editors planned it this way or not, but the beginning of the show has the early morning sun breaking over the horizon, and I can’t help but sing the beginning of Leaving On A Jet Plane. By the end of the day it’s pretty obvious that Bethany and Rhonda weren’t the only ones leaving something.

Rhonda meets with Cassie first thing, to get a handle on how she is handling the past forty-eight hours since her birth mother, Nancy, arrived and departed ahead of schedule. Cassie says she is sad, but glad she can now see the truth, no matter how painful it is. She feels she is waking form the dream world she has kept herself in, but her biggest fear is that her birth son will be embarrassed of this family’s sad heritage. Rhonda tells her that she herself didn’t make it happen; she wasn’t slapping herself around, and that she has to take control of the situation. Yet, Cassie admits there is still a part of her that feels shame.

Cassie is still struggling with feeling worthy. She knows she’s not her past anymore, but Rhonda points out Cassie’s feelings are telling her differently. Rhonda drops the big one and asks if Cassie still wants to meet her birth son despite all the past family strife. Cassie says she does, and wants to try and contact him through the adoptive father, since the adoptive mother already threw up a big road block. Cassie insists she can handle one more rejection, if it comes to that. Rhonda makes the call, but is met with the answering machine, so hangs up. They both agree to try again another time.

Candy is in a one-one-one with Iyanla to talk of her day before as chaperone for Rachael and Jamai. Candy says it was wonderful, and Iyanla knows it was all because she got to be in control. Asked who she trusts most in the house, Candy says Bethany, due to the place she comes from. Iyanla asks if Candy would trust Renee enough to shop with her, and Candy replies she would. Asked if she’d trust her with her life, Candy says no.

Renee is called into the room, and Iyanla tells them she has an assignment for the two of them. Candy will be blindfolded all day and it will be Renee’s responsibility to help and guide her. They will go out to lunch, and then grocery shopping. Renee will make Candy’s favorite dessert recipe, banana creme pie via Candy’s directions. This will help Renee learn responsibility, and Candy to learn to trust. Candy, clearly not happy, says, “Not feelin’ the love, Iyanla.” Iyanla laughs and asks, “Are you feelin’ the trust?”

Cassie and Renee move on to the kitchen where the first to greet Candy in her blindfold is – who else – Denise. Denise likes this just a little too much, as she makes hand gestures at Candy and sticks her butt in Candy’s face. Candy finally shouts, “Denise, Go away!”

Rachael says good-bye to Jamai, and he says he’s going back to foggy and pea coats. Rachael moves on to a meeting with Iyanla, who isn’t so sure if Rachael knows how important it is for her to connect back to her roots. Asked if she would like to begin researching her dad’s history, Rachael says she didn’t come to the Starting Over house for that. But, Iyanla points out, you came here to heal your painful past. Rachael adds he was never part of her past. When asked why not, Rachael says she was always told he was a crook and into things like drugs, and she doesn’t want to be put in an unsafe situation. Asked how she knows it would be unsafe, Rachael says it’s the truth, and when asked how she knows it’s the truth, she says her mom told her that. For another painful truth, Iyanla adds that her mom also said she was gong to live, but she was mistaken. Iyanla knows she is being met with Rachael’s resistance again. Rachael says she doesn’t want to know him, because she had a dad, meaning her stepfather. Iyanla gently points out she doesn’t have a dad anymore. Iyanla sums it up by saying it’s more about knowledge than “I have a daddy.”

Bethany and Rhonda have a quick meeting before they leave for North Carolina, and Rhonda wants to be assured of Bethany’s willingness to dig. Bethany admits it weighs her down, and that her biggest fear is everyone getting upset with her for digging all this up again. Rhonda tells her there’s a point where she needs to decide if having answers means more than the possible consequences.

Cassie meets with Dr. Stan who tells her she doesn’t look happy, to which she replies she doesn’t feel happy. She is fighting to have hope, but doesn’t feel it. Seeing Nancy, and realizing she had put her on a pedestal she was too small for, has destroyed all her hope. When she hears her mom’s stories, her mind just snaps, and mentally Cassie can’t handle it. Asked why this is such a threatening loss for her, Cassie says it’s because Nancy was the last person in her family she needed to let go of. She has begun to wonder is everyone crazy and hot her or is she the crazy one and everyone else sane? Dr. Stan shows Cassie how neither he, nor Rhonda, nor any of her housemates think she’s crazy.

Dr. Stan points out to Cassie how many people are screwed up, but go on to live productive lives after, as it’s part of human resiliency. Cassie pleads she wants to be different, and Dr. Stand tells her she isn’t like her birth mother. He urges her to believe him that her history is not her destiny, and that she has a choice. Amen, Dr. They broach the subject of occupations, and he urges her to think beyond skills and education, but her first thought is caring for the elderly or children.

Blindfolded Candy and Renee go out to lunch, and Renee reads the menu aloud to Candy, who has a tough time eating and not being able to see. After, they guide each other through the grocery store, and Candy reaches slight panic when Renee abandons her to take care of something else. Back at the house they make the pie together, Candy even doing some of it blindfolded. Sounds like a Stupid Human Trick. “I can make a a banana creme pie blindfolded.”

Rachael calls a friend to feel her out a little bit on the possibility of contacting her dad. Next, she calls 411 to see if she can find a listing, knowing the last address she knew of was in the San Francisco Bay area. His number appears to be unlisted. Rachael then calls Iyanla to resist again, telling her she feels picked on today. Iyanla says it’s not that she’s being made to do something she doesn’t want to do, she is being “encouraged.” Iyanla isn’t speaking her suspicions, but knows there’s something else going on, and will meet with Rachel later tonight.

First Iyanla meets with Candy and Renee to talk of their day together. Candy learned she could let someone lead her, and she needed to trust Renee with her safety and life. She also developed a greater respect for Renee as a compassionate person. Renee learned some responsibility and that Candy could let go of the control. Iyanla rewards Candy by letting her go back to cleaning and cooking. NOT a reward to me!

Iyanla moves on to talking with Rachael, who is still frightened of what type of person she has heard her dad is. Iyanla tells her she only knows what she has heard. It comes out that Rachael’s mom arranged for her to go to guardians, but her Aunt Ellen went to court to have that changed to the foster parents. Iyanla, seemingly working up quite a disdain for Aunt Ellen tells her some people learn and grow moving through the fire. Rachael needs to decide if she’s willing to move through the fire. She finally tells Iyanla she trusts her, which Iyanla has been waiting for. She tells Rachel she is honored, and promises to never hurt her the ways the other adults in her life have.

While Bethany truly is leaving on a jet plane, Rachael is leaving childhood and her abandonment issues behind. Renee is leaving her inferiority, Candy is leaving her control, and Cassie is leaving her courage behind. Hopefully, Bethany and Cassie will be the only two to return.

I welcome all questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com

Shambolic – American Idol, 02-09-05

by LauraBelle

Words. Tonight’s American Idol show was all about words, be it forgetting words or having words. Elizabeth Pha did both.

There are ninety-eight contestants left for Group night. All were split into groups of three, and picked a number to determine the order they would be singing the next day. They would have all night to practice and prepare their choice of one of five songs to be sung the next day in front of Randy, Paula and Simon.

First to have trouble is Matthew Myers, Danny Steward and Scott Sobel. Matt and Danny are not getting along with Scott, or Planet Of The Ape Boy as Matt referred to him. In fact, Matt is ready to “pimp slap” him. Scott, for his part, has seen people be eliminated for a bad group performance, and he doesn’t intend to leave now. The soonest he wants to leave is April or May during the finals.

Later during practice, Scott has gone missing. Danny says he feels like he has been stood up by a date. Scott eventually shows up, and the three end up working through the night. By the next day they have all earned respect for each other.

Elizabeth Pha, Rachel Leslie and Carrie Zaruba are struggling, or rather Elizabeth is struggling. She can’t seem to remember the words to Where Did Our Love Go. Rachel and Carrie grow increasingly more impatient with her. They eventually leave Elizabeth all by herself to learn the lyrics, with Carrie saying it’s like singing with an elephant.

Meting up with Elizabeth again, Rachel and Carrie are outraged that Elizabeth’s memory hasn’t improved at all. Carrie asks, “If you can’t learn a pop song in three hours, why are you here?” Got a point there, Carrie. Eventually they give up the argument and go to bed with plans to meet at 6:30 AM. When Elizabeth doesn’t show by 7:30, Carrie and Rachel find her in her room with the excuse that they never told her where and when to meet.

Jaclyn Crum hasn’t had a lot of time to work with her group, but there is no blame for this one. Jaclyn’s mom, who has Multiple Sclerosis, collapsed and was taken to the hospital. Eventually it was determined to just be food poisoning, but it left her group with little practice and time to spare.

The first group out to perform is Constantine Maroulis, Desmond Meeks sand William Blake. They sing and dance their way through Sugar Pie Honeybunch. Simon notes it was an interesting group between rocker Constantine and James Brown-inspired Desmond. Asked who was responsible for the choreography, they beam and say it was Desmond, to which Simon replies it was hideous. This was probably a reference to Simon’s argument with Paula over letting Desmond through in Orlando. Constantine and Desmond stay, but William is going home.

Carrie, Rachel and Elizabeth are up, and it’s do or die time for Elizabeth, who still can’t remember her words. Randy points out no one was owning the song and today they needed to bring it. Paula questions Elizabeth on forgetting the lyrics. She says she didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. They ask what the problem was a few days ago when she forgot the words at the first Hollywood audition, and she says she didn’t get that much sleep that night either, prompting Simon to ask just how many hours she needs. Unfortunately for her, she is not moving on, but the rest of her group is.

Music teacher Anwar Robinson couldn’t stop instructing and led the other members of his group, Jamar Jefferson an Mario Vasquez through Sugar Pie Honeybunch. “You made us enjoy you!” they’re told, and all make it through this round. Special note to Mario: Watch out for Annie; I hear she’s trouble.

Janay Castine, Gina McFadden and Natalie Weiss are alone for the first time singing Please Mr. Postman. Janay’s mom and Gina’s dad had been coaching all night, much to Natalie’s chagrin. Simon tells them there was no sparkle other than the necklace around Janay’s neck. He lets Janay and Gina stay, but Natalie is sent home sans parents.

Matt, Danny and Scott are finally up, prompting Scott to say they are going to “blaze” this thing. Matt has his son’s teddy bear with him again for good luck. Randy tells them that was the best ending harmony of the day, calling it “da bomb.” Danny and Scott stay, but Matt and his bear are sent packing.

Rocker Aaron Kelly, Timothy Sauer and the other Jefferson twin, Lamar, are up. Simon says he doesn’t know why he flew back from London and calls it “shambolic.” Is it me, or does that sound like something Austin Powers would say? Going over one of the scores, Paula doesn’t like that she has the only Yes for one of the three. She accuses Randy of changing his Yes to a No. She calls in the executive producer, and Simon gives Paula a hard time getting her all flustered. The executive producer says the show rules say two against one majority rules and sides with Simon and Randy. Timothy is the only one to make it, with the other two being sent home. Okay, I’m probably twice his age, but that Timothy is hot.

After Simon and Paula kiss and make up, literally, Rashida Johnson, still nursing a cold, is up with Jaclyn Crum and Faith Gatewood. The judges are very lenient, lucky for Rashida, because of Jacyln’s time spent at the hospital with her mom, and all three end up staying.

A few botched word group auditions are shown, and the funniest is Nicholas Kolbosky singing “I just love myself” instead of “I Can’t Help Myself.” Always good to have a narcissist in the group, I mean other than Simon, but Nicholas is sent home anyway.

Last up is Kurtis Parks, John Zisa and JP Koehler, who have been forgetting the lyrics to “Jump, Shout” all day. They continue to forget the words, and when asked about it, they say they chose thes song for the risk and to be different. They somehow all make it through, and figure it was because they took that risk.

I’m pretty sure we’re not done with the focus being on words. Assumably someone will forget the words at least once during finals, and adlib their way through it. And there seems to be something up with Paula this year, a little extra ornery. I think she’s really going to be gunning for her just desserts during the season. If she’s already calling in the executive producer, insisting he change the rules, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

I welcome all questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com

Recapping the Romance: Queer Eye for the (Romantic) Straight Guy Episode 3.4 and a Half

And now for another fun-filled episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Or is it Queer Eye for the British Guy? Or for the American Guy Living in London? No, we’re back in the United States. It’s Queer Eye for the ROMANTIC Guy. Not only that, but it’s The Best Of Queer Eye For The Romantic Guy. So it’s not a new episode; it’s a highlights episode. Can you tell that I’m annoyed about how much the title of this show has changed this season? In case you haven’t caught on, I’m annoyed!

Basically, this is a clip show so get ready for quick tid-bits about romance. Here, you’ll learn what you should and should not do. And you’ll get to reminisce about your favorite straight guy make-overs. I’m assuming the FF are jet lagged from London, and, therefore, I won’t keep complaining about how this show is simply fluff and filler. Off we go!

So Kyan introduces himself in a voice over and says that he’ll be our guide for looking back at the most romantic moments of seasons past so we can all rejoice in the goodness and love that is Valentine’s Day. Also known as the day I try desperately to stay away from the disposable razor aisle at the local CVS. Lots of quick shots of made-over guys kissing and hugging their loved ones. Kyan says that behind all the make-overs are women and every straight guy needs to be loved and the Fab Five love to play cupid.

Credits. Jai keeps rockin’ those headphones like no one’s business even though they may weigh more than he does.

Kyan says, “The first step to romance is looking inside yourself.” Kyan sounds as if he’s talking to a bunch of four year olds. He needs to take voice over lessons to back down on the condescending tone. Since the first step deals with looking on the inside, they show a bunch of shots of guys looking in the mirror. Because they have X-Ray vision and the mirrors reflect their souls?

The sub-title for this segment is “Find Your Inner Dater.” Cut to Jai giving advice on meeting girls. Then lots of men complaining about how they don’t know how to be romantic or talk to women. Some women complain about how their men aren’t romantic. One woman complains that her husband proposed to her during a commercial break of NYPD Blue—well, you married him! Some guy has kept something from his old girlfriend in his apartment which is anti-romance. Cut to Carson telling Straight Volleyball Coach that “There’s no ‘I’ in team—there’s an ‘M’ and an ‘E’ though.” Ha!

Now shots of the guys giving quick advice and showing their quick wit.

Sub-title: Romance Killers. A lot of hair. Smelly feet which make the guys wear gas masks and take fungus cultures. Smelly rugs from cat urine and tuna. Smelly sweaters. Stray dreadlocks which Carson makes into a mustache. Thom humps a bunk bed. Too much cologne. Carson refers to Broadway Straight Guy’s underwear as “birth control.”

Sub-title: First Impressions. Meeting at bars. Drunk love. Meeting at work and sexually harassing each other. Hitting is a turn on. Practice dating. Internet Straight Guy mock dates Thom and then goes to Hurry Date all over again. Thom talks about masturbation for no other reason than saying masturbation.

Sub-title: The Well-Groomed Guy. Cut your hair. Cut. Cut. Cut. Kyan wants men to cut their hair. He terrifies men. He hugs them. He gives men nose-hair trimmers. Use Crest White Strips because they sponsor Bravo. Hair product. Use it. Lots of it.

Sub-title: Dress to impress. Carson is offended by K-Mart clothes. Big shoes are clown shoes. All black makes you look like Branch Davidians. Texture and color are good. Tight jeans are good when there’s no “ballroom, like a cheap hotel.” Cheap clothing can be stylish.

Kyan molests a bald guy’s head and voices over his self-introduction once again.

Sub-title: Dating don’ts. Guys don’t take their dates’ coats. They forget to offer drinks. Broadway Straight Guy doesn’t shower and, as Ted says, “he was smelly!” Bad introductions. Psycho callbacks from the Internet Straight Guy. Stand-up Comedian Straight Guy shares intimate stories about porn and his girlfriend with his girlfriend sitting in the audience. I’m sure she’s happy the Queer Eye folks are showing this clip right around Valentine’s Day, so she can keep the romance alive. Rocker Straight Guy takes his date to a club next to a strip club. Nice!

Sub-title: Dating Dos. Jai says be gracious, take a coat, offer a drink, give a tour. Open car doors. Pull out chairs. Offer your jacket to cold dates. Greet a woman with a kiss, but only if it’s not the first date. Put a napkin on your date’s lap if she’s lost the use of her hands. Feed her too. She’s an invalid. Blonde girl from the movie Airheads can’t get over the New Tom because he does things that the FF have taught him to do. She comments, “The old Tom didn’t do a lot of things.” Isn’t that the point of the make-over?

Sub-title: We Love A Flirt. Artist Straight Guy Brian flirts with someone who licks him. Internet Straight Guy shows his butt to girls who ask him to. Some drunk woman wants to have his children. A broken necklace for Rocker Straight Guy? No! He has his date put the necklace back on his neck and he moves his hand to her knee! Oh, he’s got the moves! He’s Mr. Smooth! Ted asks Jai to help him with his unzipped pants. Old people get it on. Carson hits on the straight guys.

Sub-title: Winning her heart. Military Straight Guy Ross and Coach Straight Guy all want to please their women. Hairy Straight Guy wants to make shellfish. Bald Music Straight Guy wants to sing a song. Lots of massage, confidence, and dance instruction.

Sub-title: Stand by your man. Women are proud of their men. They love them anyway. They move cross-country for their men. Toupee Straight Guy gets support from his wife for getting rid of toupee. British woman with the big eyes tells Simply Red Straight Guy that his hair was stringy and now he looks a lot better.

Kyan voices over, “Hi, I’m Kyan,” because we all have the memory of a goldfish and need to be reminded that he’s hosting a Best Of edition. “We can’t have romance without fire.”

Sub-title: Create the mood. Light candles. A lot of candles. And Staten Island Straight Guy talks baby talk. And light more candles. Thom has a conniption that Long Island Straight Guy hasn’t lit candles but then claps when he remembers. Straight Guys light candles inside a book shelf. Smoke comes out of the fire place—Coach Straight Guy needs to open the flue. He does so by sticking his flammable arm into the fire. Elsewhere, Cowboy Straight Guy has a Moroccan wonderland of candles and torches going. Simply Red Straight Guy can’t light a match.

Sub-title: Romance no-nos. Make your girlfriend answer the door and cook. Jai says all the straight guys wind up doing that. Chinese Straight Guy gives a really bad massage. Airheads Straight Guy has left out an ex-girlfriend’s teddy bear (Thom’s fault!). Elsewhere, a wife is carrying buckets of ice around while Simply Red Straight Guy keeps his girlfriend outside in the cold while he puts his jacket on.

Sub-title: Food is sexy. Straight men cook. Blonde Straight Guy tells his girlfriend not to touch the stove because “this is all me and I’m doing this for you.” Which is a nice contrast to the last sequence of all the guys making the women do half the cooking. Simply Red Straight Guy flips out at giant prawns and downs a bottle of gin. Coach Straight Guy is going to burn the house down. Hairy Straight Guy has oysters and his girlfriend calls them an aphrodisiac. Lots of couples eat. Eat. Eat. Chew. Talk with their mouths full. Kiss. Eat.

Sub-title: Dance! Dance! Dance! Old men. Young men. Hairy men. Stiff men. They wind up in dance studios with Jai and happy-go-lucky dance instructors. Some guys wind up having a punching lesson instead. Old Straight Guy wants to dance but doesn’t want to be the first one. Aww, that’s endearing. I love old people. Thom says that Hairy Straight Guy “only wants to dance with Jai.” Ha! Then Carson calls it a bad episode of Soul Train as Hairy Straight Guy does a punch-myself-in-the-hand dance move. What is that all about? Old Straight Guy and Military Straight Guy count as they dance. It’s cute. The FF dance too! The women are happy. The guys cop a feel.

Hip Tip: Don’t use your cell phone at a restaurant. THANK YOU, JAI!!! Someone had to say it.

Voice over Kyan is back. He says, “Playing cupid is fun, but working with these guys is our pleasure.” I think that’s exactly what he said at the beginning of the episode.

Sub-title: Sexy guys. This segment should have been sub-titled Men Without Shirts. Because that’s all it is. Carson dressing and undressing guys. “Sweet home Alabama, you’re a hottie!” Heehee. Guys have abs! Guys have tattoos! Guys have pecs! Guys have biceps! The FF drool and hope for gay twin brothers. Sunglasses make the man. Carson swoons over Blonde Straight Guy. Thom puts in clear shower curtains! Carson gets cuddles by Cowboy Straight Guy.

Sub-title: The Reveal. Friends and relatives cry and shriek and are in shock. Why? Because Straight Guys have cut their hair and shaved and cleaned their homes. The FF are impressed with the pretty girlfriends and wives. Airheads girl screams, “Oh my God, the shoes!” Some of the women can’t stop laughing. Some give this over-zealous open-mouthed kisses.

Sub-title: Steal her heart. Bald Music Straight Guy thanks his wife and sings to her. Long Island Straight Guy makes a toast to his wife putting up with him. Awkward Straight Guy loves his girlfriend and appreciates her. Airheads Straight Guy asks Airheads girlfriend to move in. Staten Island Straight Guy woos his girl by saying she puts a “spark in his pants.” Yup, that screams romance.

Sub-title: Sweetest gifts. Necklaces. Massages. Flowers at the work desk. Hot foot massages. Lockets with pictures of sons and husbands. The Old Straight Guy has a watch to give and he’s nervous and I love them. Jets Straight Guy proposes.

Kyan’s voice over is back!

Sub-title: Unforgettable proposals. A bunch of guys get ready to propose. The biggest nights of their lives. It’s a big deal. Champagne. Chocolate. Stand-up Comedian Straight Guy asks girlfriend’s parents in Polish for permission to propose, which is sweet. Guys sweat. A lot. Women are happy and shocked and crying. Except for Cowboy Straight Guy’s girlfriend who says, “Nothing would make me happier,” but doesn’t seem all too happy about it.

Sub-title: Wedding bells. Straight Ray and Asian Straight Guy get suits and ceremonies and decorations for the reception. They give toasts and write vows. People get married. People cry. People dance. It’s all very wedding-like.

Sub-title: Seal it with a kiss. Straight guys kiss their women. Airheads use tongue. Military Straight Guy kisses his girlfriend’s eye. The Fab Five swoon over Blonde Straight Guy’s kiss.

Kyan voices over, “And remember, a kiss is just a kiss, except for when it’s the best kiss of your life.” Does that make any sense?

The Fab Five’s highlights reel hopefully has reminded straight guys of the world the dos and don’ts of romance for this Valentine’s Day. And has probably opened old wounds for some of the women who had to sit through seeing the pre-make-over men embarrassed all over again. Now that’s got romance written all over it!

–Christina M. Rau/GatsbyGirl

Was this episode more fluff or more filler?

Email christina@realityshack.com

Hooray for Hollywood! American Idol 4 – 2/8/05

By Annie

Hooray for Hollywood! And hooray the terrible auditions are over! Or are they???

This week, 193 contestants arrived in Hollywood from all over America. They bring their dreams, hopes, smiles, tears and emotions with them. The contestants are broken down into two groups. One group went on a tour of Southern California. The other group heads straight to the theatre for their auditions. After a limited amount of time with a vocal coach, the contestants each get their shot. Their choice of song is made from a list of 12 that was given to them the previous week.

They are then broken down further into groups of ten. The men and women audition separately. Each group of ten learn their fate in a round of “sudden death”. They either get a “yes” or a “no”. No reasons or explanations. No crass remarks from Simon. No arguing with Paula. This is a big element to be missing from this show.

Carrie Underwood was one of the first contestants and, not surprisingly, made it through. Her innocent yet stunningly beautiful looks match her heavenly voice. She is one of my favorites. Sarah Mathers also makes it through. Therese and Tamisha aren’t so lucky.

The next group of ten put their best foot forward. Anthony Vederoff really wowed me with his Grobin style singing and I’ll be first in line to buy his CD. The judges give him a yes. Michael Luis sings “Unforgettable” and it was quite forgettable.

Meanwhile, the other bus load of contestants is frolicking in the sun at the beach. Clearly we see how touched many of them are to be in the Hollywood area. To stand before the roar of the Pacific Ocean can truly be daunting. Their excitement and awe are infectious. I may have to play hooky from work tomorrow and head down to Santa Monica!

However, Shanta is concerned. She got on the wrong bus and is out shopping and touring the town when she should be at the auditions. She isn’t quite sure what to do and asks the others for advice. They scold her and tell her to call a cab. She starts to dial…

Back at the auditions we learn that Rashita woke up with a cold. Her speaking voice is crackly and rough. She is fighting tears as she waits back stage. Then she stands before the judges and takes my breath away! She sounded terrific and is on to the next round.

Meanwhile, Shanta still needs a cab. The cab arrives but she can’t find it. Will she make it back in time?

Amanda Avila was one of the Vegas showgirls that Simon was so taken with. She sings Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. She makes it through. It’s always good to have Simon on your side.

After several more contestants get the nod, up comes Richard Malfetta of the famous (infamous?) Malfetta brothers. He really didn’t do very well. He even admitted to it. He’s heading home.

Shanta finally finds her cab and is on her way to the auditions. Will she make it in time? This is the land of traffic jams…

In my last recap, I mentioned it will be interesting to see what versatility the crooners, Ross Williams and Sean McNeal have. Their wonderful voices adapted well, their talent shining through. They both get nods from the judges. These boys will go far.

Yeaaa! Here comes Shanta with few minutes to spare! Considering her harried start to the day, she belts out a pretty good tune. She was far from my favorite but she gets a yes from all judges, which wraps up day one. I think Shanta is very lucky!

The second day brings a tour bus for those that have made it through. It’s their turn to frolic and play in the sun while a new group of contestants begin their auditions. Emotions are high as Regina Brooks sings “This Thing Called Love”. Regina is the contestant who pawned her wedding rings so she could try out for the show. Now that she is in Hollywood, she has changed her hair and lost 40 pounds. She looks great. But she didn’t sound so great, and is sent home.

Be still, my heart! It’s my own American Idol – Mario – singing just for me. I know the judges will put him through – and they do. I’m not sure what he sang or what he said but he looked good! Yes indeedy! (Special note to Mario: I’m in the book and only a 20 minute drive from you now!) :heart:

Also getting the thumbs up this day is Melissa Figueroa and Vonzell Soloman. Patrick Norman sang in his best shower voice and received a resounding no. Francisco Torres didn’t put on a very good show with his version of “Broken Heart”, but one had to love his enthusiasm and spirit.

Marlia turns out to be the character of the night. What kind of character – I’m not so sure. In between contestants we see her stressing. She misses her kids. She’s on a roller coaster. When she sang, her voice was good (and the judges put her through) but she looked as excited as a four year old trying to finish up his bowl of spinach. As far as I was concerned, she was behaving like a four year old in bad need of a nap. So, she quits. After all this, she quits. She says it’s not worth the emotional roller coaster ride. Someone should have told her to go take a nap and spared us the drama.

The three “rockers” sing and all make it through. Constantine, Arron and Bo have the rocker look and style. Will they be as versatile as the crooners? My bet is on Constantine.

Blue haired Brianna sounded awful. Her opera type of singing didn’t translate well to the choice of songs before her. Sixteen year old Mikalah Gordon threatens to make Simon take her to her prom if they send her home. Maybe threats work – she made it through.

Out of the 193 contestants, 97 remain. Although this episode was extremely fast moving and left many things to the imagination, it did get me thinking. Perhaps we all have one good song in us that might get us to Hollywood. You know, that song you sing in the shower and in the car when no one is listening. And you just know you sound so good. And you probably do, on that one song. Personally I’m not laying any claim to even one song of worth. The only way I can get to Hollywood is in my ’99 Camry. But this must have been the case for many of the contestants. Some sounded so bad, it really made one wonder how they got through to tonight’s elimination. It had to have been that one shower song that did it!

Until next time….

annie@realityshack.com (Come on, Mario – drop me a line.) :whoohoo:

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